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The Four 'C's of Public Speaking
Apr 28, 2006 02:53 PM 7410 Views
(Updated Apr 28, 2006 03:10 PM)

Public Speaking is not a tough nut to crack. Any one can develop the talent. Its like riding a bike, you can always learn it and, if you desire, master it.

There are four vital aspects or four things that one must concentrate on. I call them the Four ‘C’s of Public Speaking. They are Confidence, Clarity, Commitment and Command over the language. Let us see them more closely.


Confidence, according to me, is a state of mind which makes one believe in himself and at the same time, respect other’s abilities. When it comes to public speaking, confidence parts into two.

The first one is your off-stage confidence, which you have to develop. This can be developed with self-belief and support. There are other ways of doing this like your practice which makes you confident, but self-belief is what sets the criterion. When you are in a competition or any place where you have to impress or excel anybody, your composure is the key. Listen to other’s speeches, the ones you want to excel. There may be some flaws in their speech that you can mend in yours. Let not a good speech spoil your composure. Keep in mind an impression, “THIS IS GOOD.  MINE WILL BE BETTER”

The next one is on-stage. When you are on the stage, your confidence is reflected on your face. Nervousness will settle in a matter of time. So I don’t consider nervousness as a major factor. Infact, you will feel nervous for the first 30 or so speeches and then it will ebb. Coming back to confidence, one way of gaining it on stage is, you can realize the fact that the next few minutes belong to you and that whatever you say, everyone should listen. This would loosen up some nerves for sure. The other way is to think or see others as ‘dolls’. I would recommend this only if you are finding it very difficult to deliver a speech because when you do so, it will take away your fear of the people before you. But this is only for beginners and also especially for late beginners who are afraid to speak before a mass. In normal, if you do so, you are not going to play with their minds, which is the essence of public speaking. Confidence can also be earned from friends who can appreciate you on your effort. Exaggeration, in this case only leads to your improvement. So, have friends who can encourage.


The second ‘C’, is Clarity. Again this can be divided into two. One is the Clarity in idea and the other is the Clarity in speech. Of these two, the Clarity of idea is more vital. You can say anything clearly but your ideas must be distinct and simple. You can always borrow ideas from others but they cannot be as good as your own ones. Also, if you have a topic on hand, you must analyze that topic, have a view from every angle. Try to be correct in all aspects. You should not give any wrong ideas or information to the listeners. Also you must believe in your idea or point of view and involve in it. Your involvement will make the speech more attractive. There is no point in selecting a topic which you don’t believe and trying to talk for it.

The next clarity is clarity in speech. Your invaluable ideas should be backed by your speech. Your tone must be commanding and modulated. Every sentence has its own effect on the listeners. Your aim is to get to the mind of your listeners. Powerful statements should be delivered powerfully. You must have the courage and character towards expressing your thoughts on a particular topic. Powerful statements never fail to make an impact when they are delivered clearly and with perfect modulation. Apart from all these, your speech will be more effective if it is slow and steady. This gives the listeners the time to grasp your thoughts and digest them. Simplicity is another important thing. Keep your speech as simple as possible. It should reach everybody.


The next is Commitment you show towards your speech. It is not a relative aspect but a broader one. It is not concerned about any particular speech., Its about your preparations for  any speech. You have to listen to many speeches. By ‘listening’, I mean, you should see the intricate details of their speech. Their modulation, use of language, humor, body language etc. Take off your shame if you have any because, you should not be ashamed. Not every one who is listening can deliver a speech. This view comes from the commitment that you show and the efforts you take. If possible, recite your speech in front of a mirror. It will work like a dream.

Preparation is also a form of commitment you show. It need not be paper work only. It can be from your hear and brain duo also. But one advantage of having it on paper is that you will not miss any point. In some cases, missing a point can prove to be lethal.

Next, dress yourself for the occasion. Your dressing will definitely reflect your confidence. Work on your style of speaking. You can change your modulation or your tone. You should be unique so that you can be identified by your tone itself. For this, the shortcut is “PRACTICE” and  “PRACTICE HARD”

Command over the Language

Language is very important in Public Speaking. Command over a language can be acquired by reading books or seeing films. Command means familiarity of the language. This needs listening, observation and use. Learn the different usage of the language. Every aspect of the language and a broad séance, will help you a lot. Books will improve your vocabulary while movies, your usage. Different words for the same essence should be in your mind. You should be able to dispatch Command over language is easy and interesting to acquire.

The above fur ‘C’s are sure to make you a brilliant ‘Public Speaker provided you follow them. There is one more ‘C’ that is more like an icing on the cake. Its Comedy. A sense of humor will make people look up to you. This makes them to listen to you more carefully. Hence add Comedy as an ingredient.

I hope you were benefited by this long prose. My wishes for you to become a successful   ” PUBLIC SPEAKER”

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